Three Strikes - You Are Dead (Chapter 1, page 1 of 8)

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Chapter 1

The Beachcombers or Combers as the team name was often shortened to, were devastated as they packed their bags following the final game of a season where they missed making the playoffs by a single game.

But like small children who anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus every year, the Combers were all ready looking forward to the next season. And like Santa Claus who doesn't like to disappoint children on Christmas morning, the Combers were determined not to disappoint their fans the next season.

"Finishing second is satisfying, said General Manager Mark Alan Kingston at his season ending press conference. But its not as satisfying as reaching the summit. After all, Edmund Hillary didn't stop in the middle of his climb up Mt. Everest and announce he was satisfied because he had reached the halfway point. With a few off season changes we can go from being George Mallory to being Edmund Hillary. Our first change will be replacing our field manager Carr Keyes who is resigning due to family problems."

At the end of October, Kingston announced that he had hired Jeff Silvers to replace Keyes. Silvers, in his mid fifties, was respected as a knowledgeable baseball manager who was also highly competitive.

"Nobody will ever accuse me of being a good sport, said Silvers at the press conference to announce his hiring. to be a good sport you have to be a good loser and I hate to lose."

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